Fable III

WADE MANNS – The Corsair

By Microsoft Game Studios and Lionhead Studios

Genre: Third-person action/RPG/strategy

Rating: Mature for Blood, Language, Sexual Content, Use of Alcohol, Violence

The Fable series has always been a favorite of mine, due to its action RPG roots; hack and slash to get experience and loot, sell it back in town, get better loot, etc. Well, there’s also an interesting twist; an intricate storyline with far-reaching choices to make, and this installment’s no different in that regard. The setting is fifty years after the second game; steampunk (steam-powered contraptions and industry in the middle of a medieval world) is the flavor of the day instead of high fantasy.

You are the brother of the reigning king, Logan; both of you are the sons of the Hero (here not just a fancy title, but the name of a species of superpowered human in the world of Albion) of the previous game in the series, the former king. When Logan ascended to the throne, he became cruel and mad with power, placing malevolent men in power as his lieutenants and reigning from Bowerstone Castle with an iron fist.

The people of the surrounding towns, and indeed Albion at large, naturally became disillusioned with this tyrannical new ruler; they soon came to find an unlikely ally in his brother, who is destined to be the next Hero after his father, overthrow his corrupted brother and take control of the throne.

Gameplay is much the same as in the first two games, with exploration and three-tiered (melee, ranged and magic) combat being the norm. The controls have been streamlined for maximum convenience in dealing out maximum punishment; and with each kill, your weapons (and you yourself) evolve with the world around you.

Your menu and progression systems in the game are handled by two fast-loading areas which can be accessed at nearly any time: the Sanctuary and Road to Rule. You may full walk around in these areas; choose new weapons and clothing, view trophies and achievements, initiate multiplayer and buy special items from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, view all the quests available to you on a handy map table, and most importantly, spend the Guild Seals (tokens of Heroes long past which you earn by completing quests or killing enemies) to further your skills and experience.

Jasper, your butler from your early days of life in the castle, will be there to comment and crack wise on most aspects of your experience; Monty Python’s John Cleese very ably brings forth Fable’s trademark dry sense of humor. Your most loyal follower, Sir Walter Beck, remains at your side through thick and thin. And throughout your adventure, the enigmatic blind seer Theresa, present since the beginning of the first game as a small child (over 1,000 years ago!) , guides your path with a seemingly benevolent hand; though, where do her true motives lie?

All in all, a wonderful game worthy of your time and attention. I give it five out of five stars!